The influence of the digital landscape or ‘cyberspace’ has been steadily growing since the 1990’s, and now, just a few decades later, has almost become an essential part of a vast majority of people on the planet.
According to a survey conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social, as of January 2019, there were 4.39 billion internet users in the world. To put this in perspective, this is 57% of the total population of the world. The number of people using the internet has surged over the past year, with more than 1 million people coming online for the first time each day since January 2018. This means that there are 11 new users per second.
The key here is to understand internet user behaviours and acknowledging how quickly it is evolving. With Mobile accounting for an ever-increasing share of our online activities, it is worth noting that an average user spends 6 hours and 42 minutes each day online. The number of people around the world who use a mobile phone increased by 100 million in 2018, with the global total reaching more than 5.1 billion users by January 2019. This figure brings worldwide mobile penetration to 67 percent – more than two-thirds of the total global population.
To get ahead of the curve and the competition, it is very important for any organization, irrespective of size, to use the best tools at their disposal enabling them to leverage on creating brand awareness and propel top line growth while engaging with their customers.
The digital marketing landscape that encompasses SEO, social media, PPC, content marketing and more is witnessing a dramatic shift. There may have been a time when you could’ve dismissed artificial intelligence or visual search as gimmicks from the latest blockbuster science fiction film, but that time is long gone.
There are many new digital marketing trends and strategies that are evolving in the current high-tech, Internet-connected era and businesses now need to use them to succeed in their efforts because what worked for you last year may not work this year.
Here are the top digital trends we think are going to be hot in 2019.
Voice Shopping Set to Jump to $40 Billion By 2022, Rising From $2 Billion Today
Voice-powered search was hot in 2018—and the trend will continue to rise in the new year and beyond. While ComScore estimates that half of all search queries will be voice-based by 2020, TechCrunch reports that over 47 million adults currently have access to a smart speaker. Since customers now know the technology makes their lives easier, voice recognition technology is only expected to grow bigger and better.
For now, the majority of voice search usage is based on necessity. People use these tools the most when their hands are full or when they’re driving. However, as accuracy rates improve and consumers become more accustomed to having their needs met, expect to see brands competing as they struggle to figure out how to be found in voice searches.
To get in front of this trend, think about the differences between text and voice search as it relates to your site’s content. Consider what your customers might say, rather than type, when making a search query. You can get started by writing short blogs and product descriptions in a more conversational tone to create content that better aligns with voice search.
When most people think about Virtual and Augmented Realities (VR and AR), they tend to think about video games. However, there are a variety of additional opportunities for brands to use these technologies to improve their customer experience and bring consumers closer to their brand. As an example, IKEA created a Virtual Reality Kitchen. It is a shopping app designed to let customers try out different IKEA solutions before buying them.
Potential buyers can experience the look and feel of an updated kitchen, moving about the virtual space while selecting different cabinet and counter top combinations. Lowe’s is another home improvement brand to experiment with VR technology, having introduced a virtual experience in select retail locations. Their idea is to provide customers with immersive training so that they feel confident in undertaking DIY projects. When customers put on the VR headset, they will be given instructions on how to complete a task such as putting up a shelf.
Review your sales and marketing data, including customer feedback, to determine if your target audience needs to try out your product or service before buying it. Investing in a web or mobile application equipped with VR can help you close deals, especially if you don’t have a brick and mortar store.
Artificial intelligence tools like Siri and Alexa have become household names. They’re not only programmed to provide excellent customer service, but they also allow consumers to find and order products faster and easier. Because of these benefits, OC&C Strategy Consultants predicts that 55 percent of homes will feature AI-powered solutions by 2022.
Software developers will spend much of 2019 making these offerings more intelligent and personalized.
Creating a smart AI-powered application for your business now will help you reach your ideal customer with greater accuracy. Since the technology will only continue to improve and serve people better, your business will increase efficiencies over time and pave the way for even better customer experiences.
Many brands have started to communicate with their prospects through messenger applications like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Slack. They’re fast since consumers are already using these tools to chat with friends and colleagues and, let’s get real, no one likes to wait for a response on the phone.
Chatbots are making the process of automating responses to potential buyers’ frequently asked questions even easier by providing them with a way to search for the product or service they’re looking for.
A good indicator of a chatbot powered by AI is its ability to answer open questions. These bots use natural learning processing and machine learning to find the correct response.
Chatbots also have many other advantages. They can serve clients 24/7 and retain their data. They’re friendly and never lose their patience. Customers may get angry, but the bot always treats them well. Chatbots can respond to several requests from different customers at the same time, so waiting times will no longer be a problem.
Sephora, for example, is a brand that uses a chatbot to give beauty advice to its users and offer them the best cosmetic products according to their needs. Through its application or website, Sephora Visual Artist lets its potential clients “test” cosmetic products like lipsticks, eyeshadows, and highlighting pallets. Visual Artist is able to identify facial features and then use augmented reality to apply the selected product to the user’s photograph. It can even automatically apply an eyeshadow suggestion based on the skin tone of the consumer!
Video marketing will still be one of the most popular tools in the new year. A whopping 90 percent of consumers say video helps them make their buying decisions, while landing page videos can increase customer conversion rates by as much as 80 percent. Business informer Forbes says every company needs video marketing, since it represents pure connectivity, provides an excellent return on investment, and offers increased social sharing opportunities.
The stats make sense, as the average attention span is short, and most people would rather watch a video than read a lengthy article. Remember in 2019 that marketing only succeeds if it delivers what consumers want—especially when and how they want it. Done well, video marketing produces amazing results.
According to HubSpot, simply adding a video to an email boosts click-through rate by a staggering 200–300 percent. Think about your current marketing tools, and how you can add short, personalized videos to each strategy.
Attention is now a currency. This is why impersonalized email blasts and ads are going the way of the telephone landline. If you’re advertising in 2019, it’s essential to hyper-target your customer segments and focus on personalizing every interaction.
Niche landing pages should be connected to each of your digital advertising campaigns while investing in several targeted social media marketing ads and pay-per-click campaigns will help you better reach every demographic and personality. Glean information about how to address your audience, including the right words to use, by gathering analytical data and using detailed customer sign-up forms.
A combination of personalization and innovative offerings will make you stand out from your competitors in the new year. If your ideal customer can locate and use your products and services quicker and easier than the others in your industry, you will reach more targets and begin to build trust among your audience. Keep each of these tools in mind when you consider how to update your current marketing strategy for both new prospects and current customers. Finally, make sure your team stays up to date on changes in marketing trends, which will undoubtedly occur throughout the year and into the future.
If you would like to implement these technologies in your organization, get in touch with NETCLUES today! - We offer bespoke digital marketing and Web Development solutions that will enable you to hit and surpass your business objectives
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